Mayrhofen has an ace up its sleeve: high, snowsure slopes that set it apart from its Tyrolean neighbours. And it’s home to one of the best terrain parks in Austria. Here’s a local’s guide to the pistes, powders stashes and après-ski you don’t want to miss It’s located in the Zillertal valley, in the Austrian Tyrol.
But before you write it off as being unreliable snow-wise, get this: it’s not. In fact, most of its slopes are above 1500m and relatively snowsure, and the Hintertux glacier, its lofty neighbour, guarantees plenty of white stuff year-round.
Up on the main Penken ski area you’ll also find one of the best terrain parks in Austria – every rail you could ever dream of – and the resort hosts the famous Wängl Tängl snowboarding festival and Mayrhofen Freeski Open, with a huge list of riders on the bill.
Many people don’t realise that the Zillertaler ski pass covers you for every resort down the valley – great places to find booter spots in Kaltenbach, or epic cliffs in Zell am Ziller, or the Japan-style trees in Ramsberg – each resort has something different to offer those willing to get out of the park and go exploring. Just make sure you return to Mayrhofen for the après-ski, its nightlife is legendary. All this less than an hour away from Innsbruck.
No wonder British pro skier Joe Tyler has made it his base for the last six winters. Here, he reveals his favourite spots on and off the hill…
FOR FRESH TRACKS…
For freshies head up high to the top of the Wängl. It’s the highest point in Mayrhofen and you can’t miss the face – if you look up from the park to where the big cable car goes to, that’s it. It’s just an open face with a few chutes and plenty of routes down. The valleys around the back of it are also pretty good, especially if you’re looking for something a little mellower.
A RUN YOU PROBABLY DON’T KNOW ABOUT…
Head to the top of Penkenbahn and take the little T-bar to the top of the baby slope and head around the back – if you drop off at the first corner and keep heading slightly left you’ll join the Abfahrt that goes down to the Horbergbahn station. It’s a wicked long run that holds the snow pretty well – if you time it right, you can be in for some awesome freshies.
WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT MAYRHOFEN?
Its après-ski. Austrian après-ski is the only true après-ski – everything else is just an imitation.
FOR MOUNTAIN BITES
Christa’s Skialm (+43 (0)5285 63033), at the top of the Nordhang Chair. The tiroler Gröstl (Tyrolean version of rösti) is always a good way to pack a lot of energy for a hard afternoon’s skiing.
FOR AN APRES-SKI TIPPLE
My favourite place to do après would have to be at the Brücke n’ Stadl, part of Hotel Gasthof – it’s the best bar in town! Get there any time from 4pm onwards and you’ll have a blast.
FOR CHEAP EATS IN TOWN
Ikrams Kebab house inside the Schlussel Alm night club – it’s always a good bet after (or during) a night out. Kebabs and pizzas galore!
TELL ME SOMETHING I DON’T KNOW ABOUT MAYRHOFEN
It’s a place that all the best riders in the world have been through, snowboarders and skiers alike. You name ‘em, they’ve all been here – Bobby brown, Russ Henshaw, Seb Touts, Seth Morrison…
PISTES & PASSES
Blue – 43
Red – 75
Black – 15
Skipass Mayrhofen from €43 per day. Zillertaler Superskipass from €83 per day.